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      Healthcare Resource Utilization, Exacerbations, and Readmissions Among Medicare Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease After Long-Acting Muscarinic Antagonist Therapy Initiation with Soft Mist versus Dry Powder Inhalers

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is often managed with inhaled long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), yet real-world data on healthcare resource utilization (HRU) by inhaler type are lacking. This study compared HRU after LAMA initiation with a soft mist inhaler (SMI) versus a dry powder inhaler (DPI).

          Patients and Methods

          Inclusion criteria were COPD diagnosis, age ≥40 years, LAMA initiation (index date = first LAMA SMI or DPI claim 9/1/14—6/30/18), and Medicare Advantage enrollment 1 year pre-index (baseline) to ≥30 days post-index (follow-up). Patients were followed to the earliest of discontinuation, switch, disenrollment, 1 year, or study end (7/31/18). Exclusion criteria were asthma, cystic fibrosis, or lung cancer diagnoses, unavailable demographics, multiple index LAMAs, or baseline LAMA use. Cohorts (SMI or DPI) were balanced on baseline characteristics using inverse probability of treatment weighting. Outcomes included per patient per month (PPPM) COPD-related HRU encounters, and exacerbations (defined as moderate [ambulatory visit with corticosteroid or antibiotic within ±7 days] or severe [emergency visit or inpatient admission]); and 30-day readmissions following COPD-related hospitalizations.


          After weighting, cohorts (SMI [n=5360] and DPI [n=22,880]) were similar in age (72 and 73 years, respectively), gender (both 52% female), and COPD severity score (31.3 and 31.5, respectively). Cohorts had similar counts of follow-up HRU encounters. However, the SMI cohort had fewer (mean ± standard deviation) COPD-related exacerbations (0.054±0.082 vs DPI cohort 0.059±0.088 PPPM, p<0.001) overall. Moreover, the SMI cohort had fewer severe exacerbations (0.030±0.058 vs DPI: 0.034±0.065 PPPM, p<0.001). Hospitalizations among SMI patients had a lower adjusted odds of readmission versus hospitalizations among DPI patients (odds ratio: 0.656, 95% confidence interval= 0.460, 0.937; p=0.020).


          SMI initiators had significantly fewer COPD-related exacerbations than DPI initiators. In addition, lower odds of readmissions were observed following COPD-related hospitalizations among the SMI cohort, as compared with the DPI cohort.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Marginal Structural Models and Causal Inference in Epidemiology

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            Updating and validating the Charlson comorbidity index and score for risk adjustment in hospital discharge abstracts using data from 6 countries.

            With advances in the effectiveness of treatment and disease management, the contribution of chronic comorbid diseases (comorbidities) found within the Charlson comorbidity index to mortality is likely to have changed since development of the index in 1984. The authors reevaluated the Charlson index and reassigned weights to each condition by identifying and following patients to observe mortality within 1 year after hospital discharge. They applied the updated index and weights to hospital discharge data from 6 countries and tested for their ability to predict in-hospital mortality. Compared with the original Charlson weights, weights generated from the Calgary, Alberta, Canada, data (2004) were 0 for 5 comorbidities, decreased for 3 comorbidities, increased for 4 comorbidities, and did not change for 5 comorbidities. The C statistics for discriminating in-hospital mortality between the new score generated from the 12 comorbidities and the Charlson score were 0.825 (new) and 0.808 (old), respectively, in Australian data (2008), 0.828 and 0.825 in Canadian data (2008), 0.878 and 0.882 in French data (2004), 0.727 and 0.723 in Japanese data (2008), 0.831 and 0.836 in New Zealand data (2008), and 0.869 and 0.876 in Swiss data (2008). The updated index of 12 comorbidities showed good-to-excellent discrimination in predicting in-hospital mortality in data from 6 countries and may be more appropriate for use with more recent administrative data. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved.
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              Global, regional, and national deaths, prevalence, disability-adjusted life years, and years lived with disability for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

              Summary Background Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma are common diseases with a heterogeneous distribution worldwide. Here, we present methods and disease and risk estimates for COPD and asthma from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) 2015 study. The GBD study provides annual updates on estimates of deaths, prevalence, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a summary measure of fatal and non-fatal disease outcomes, for over 300 diseases and injuries, for 188 countries from 1990 to the most recent year. Methods We estimated numbers of deaths due to COPD and asthma using the GBD Cause of Death Ensemble modelling (CODEm) tool. First, we analysed data from vital registration and verbal autopsy for the aggregate category of all chronic respiratory diseases. Subsequently, models were run for asthma and COPD relying on covariates to predict rates in countries that have incomplete or no vital registration data. Disease estimates for COPD and asthma were based on systematic reviews of published papers, unpublished reports, surveys, and health service encounter data from the USA. We used the Global Initiative of Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease spirometry-based definition as the reference for COPD and a reported diagnosis of asthma with current wheeze as the definition of asthma. We used a Bayesian meta-regression tool, DisMod-MR 2.1, to derive estimates of prevalence and incidence. We estimated population-attributable fractions for risk factors for COPD and asthma from exposure data, relative risks, and a theoretical minimum exposure level. Results were stratified by Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a composite measure of income per capita, mean years of education over the age of 15 years, and total fertility rate. Findings In 2015, 3·2 million people (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 3·1 million to 3·3 million) died from COPD worldwide, an increase of 11·6% (95% UI 5·3 to 19·8) compared with 1990. There was a decrease in age-standardised death rate of 41·9% (37·7 to 45·1) but this was counteracted by population growth and ageing of the global population. From 1990 to 2015, the prevalence of COPD increased by 44·2% (41·7 to 46·6), whereas age-standardised prevalence decreased by 14·7% (13·5 to 15·9). In 2015, 0·40 million people (0·36 million to 0·44 million) died from asthma, a decrease of 26·7% (−7·2 to 43·7) from 1990, and the age-standardised death rate decreased by 58·8% (39·0 to 69·0). The prevalence of asthma increased by 12·6% (9·0 to 16·4), whereas the age-standardised prevalence decreased by 17·7% (15·1 to 19·9). Age-standardised DALY rates due to COPD increased until the middle range of the SDI before reducing sharply. Age-standardised DALY rates due to asthma in both sexes decreased monotonically with rising SDI. The relation between with SDI and DALY rates due to asthma was attributed to variation in years of life lost (YLLs), whereas DALY rates due to COPD varied similarly for YLLs and years lived with disability across the SDI continuum. Smoking and ambient particulate matter were the main risk factors for COPD followed by household air pollution, occupational particulates, ozone, and secondhand smoke. Together, these risks explained 73·3% (95% UI 65·8 to 80·1) of DALYs due to COPD. Smoking and occupational asthmagens were the only risks quantified for asthma in GBD, accounting for 16·5% (14·6 to 18·7) of DALYs due to asthma. Interpretation Asthma was the most prevalent chronic respiratory disease worldwide in 2015, with twice the number of cases of COPD. Deaths from COPD were eight times more common than deaths from asthma. In 2015, COPD caused 2·6% of global DALYs and asthma 1·1% of global DALYs. Although there are laudable international collaborative efforts to make surveys of asthma and COPD more comparable, no consensus exists on case definitions and how to measure disease severity for population health measurements like GBD. Comparisons between countries and over time are important, as much of the chronic respiratory burden is either preventable or treatable with affordable interventions. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                07 December 2020
                : 15
                : 3239-3250
                [1 ]Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. , Ridgefield, CT, USA
                [2 ]Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Optum , Eden Prairie, MN, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: David Singer Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc ., Ridgefield, CT, USATel +1-203-791-6409 Email
                © 2020 Singer et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 5, References: 32, Pages: 12
                Funded by: BIPI and conducted by Optum;
                This study was sponsored and funded by BIPI and conducted by Optum. The sponsor participated in study design, review, and approval, as well as manuscript review and approval for submission. The authors received no direct compensation related to the development of the manuscript.
                Original Research


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